The EMBLA survey - metal-poor stars in the Galactic bulge

Louise M. Howes, Martin Asplund, Stefan Claude Keller, Andrew R. Casey, David Yong, Karin Lind, Anna Frebel, Austin Hays, Alan Alves-Brito, Michael Stanley Bessell, Luca Casagrande, Anna F Marino, David M Nataf, Christopher I. Owen, Gary Stewart Da Costa, Brian P. Schmidt, Patrick Tisserand

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76 Citations (Scopus)


Cosmological models predict the oldest stars in theGalaxy should be found closest to the centre of the potential well, in the bulge. The Extremely Metal-poor BuLge stars with AAOmega survey (EMBLA) successfully searched for these old, metal-poor stars by making use of the distinctive SkyMapper photometric filters to discover candidate metal-poor stars in the bulge. Their metal-poor nature was then confirmed using the AAOmega spectrograph on the Anglo- Australian Telescope. Here we present an abundance analysis of 10 bulge stars with -2.8 < [Fe/H] < -1.7 from MIKE/Magellan observations, in total determining the abundances of 22 elements. Combining these results with our previous high-resolution data taken as part of the Gaia-ESO Survey, we have started to put together a picture of the chemical and kinematic nature of the most metal-poor stars in the bulge. The currently available kinematic data are consistent with the stars belonging to the bulge, although more accurate measurements are needed to constrain the stars' orbits. The chemistry of these bulge stars deviates from that found in halo stars of the same metallicity. Two notable differences are the absence of carbonenhanced metal-poor bulge stars, and the a element abundances exhibit a large intrinsic scatter and include stars which are underabundant in these typically enhanced elements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)884-901
Number of pages18
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Galaxy: bulge
  • Galaxy: evolution
  • Stars: abundances
  • Stars: Population II

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